Funeral doom is a tough genre to get into. For one, it is extremely slow, much slower than traditional doom metal. The songs are not structured the same either. Funeral doom songs just lumber along at the same monolithic pace. The music is not very accessible at all.
That being said, Ahab is easily the most accessible funeral doom metal band. The music features slow synthesizer and guitar melodies, lumbering drums and bass, and deep, guttural vocals with the occasional chanting section. The songs are all very long, seldomly less than ten minutes. They build up a foreboding atmosphere and an impending sense of dread. This is atmospheric music. It should not be listened to in the car driving cross country or in a crowd of people. It is meant to be experienced, more than heard.
I own two albums by Ahab, which are their only two full length albums.
The Call of the Wretched Sea is a concept album about Herman Melville's Moby Dick, even featuring passages from the novel in the lyrics. I did a full review of this album earlier on this blog, so I will not go in depth here. Just click on the "ahab" label at the end of this post to find it. This is the band's better album so far as it is more raw and emotional than the following album.Ahab released The Divinity of Oceans last year. As mentioned, the band is not quite as raw on this album. The music is a little more accessible and the production is not quite as muddy so it's easier to hear what is happening in the music. It's no less depressing than their first album though. This album draws literary inspiration from Nathaniel Phillbrick's In the Heart of the Sea and Owen Chase's The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex.It's quite clear that Ahab has a thing for nautical themes and literature about whaling. We'll see if they can continue this lyrical theme on later albums. Ahab introduced me to the funeral doom metal genre. I have not checked out any further bands to this point, although I intend to do so.